It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker. Please consider supporting our site by purchasing an account.

New York Times, Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Author:
Andrew J. Ries
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
128/13/200712/14/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
21111321
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.57010
Andrew Ries

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 36 Missing: {QVXZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 4 for Mr. Ries. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
It's not often that I scratch my head, trying to figure out a puzzle's theme. Obviously JOHNNY ON THE SPOT refers to Johnny CASH, ... read more

It's not often that I scratch my head, trying to figure out a puzzle's theme. Obviously JOHNNY ON THE SPOT refers to Johnny CASH, Johnny CARSON, Johnny BENCH, Johnny ROTTEN hidden in themers. Nice that all of them are Johnnys, not Johns.

JOHNNY ROTTEN!

But what does that ON THE SPOT refer to? I spent a good 15 minutes scanning the grid, trying to see if CASH was sitting atop the word SPOT, or a type of spot, or a black square representing a spot, or something else. The clue says "literally," right? It doesn't look like there's an additional layer that I'm missing. But it feels like there should be, darn it!

Nice set of famous JOHNNYs, all four with last names that can be hidden in phrases. I liked BENCH PRESS and ROTTEN EGG a lot, and CARSON CITY is pretty good too. CASH MONEY is a real phrase, but I don't hear it that often, even working in the world of finance. I might have preferred CASH CROPS or CASH FLOWS.

Interesting selections for long fill. I hesitated in filling in FANDANGO, because I only know it as the movie ticket site. Apparently it's a Spanish dance usually accompanied by castanets. I enjoyed learning that.

As for short fill, tough to start a puzzle by hitting AMO, SEN, ADLAI, ASCAP, ALG, all in one corner. Running ONSLAUGHT through two themers does make filling more challenging, but all the glue is a high price to pay, especially when the rest of the puzzle is dotted with CEE, EDINA crossing ENERO, ADEE, UNA, HORS, etc.

KOD looks so funny, but I like it. KO'D is common enough.

There's a high theme density here, what with five long theme answers, so that explains some of the gluey bits. Perhaps I really did miss some extra layer of theme? Andrew's too good of a constructor to let all the gluey bits through without a good reason.

ADDED NOTE: In fact, I didn't spot (pun intended) the ADs, i.e. advertising spots, under the various Johnnys — I've highlighted them below. D'oh! Thanks to all who pointed this out. Makes a lot more sense now; that adds a lot of difficulty into the already theme-dense construction.

1
A
2
M
3
O
4
J
5
A
6
F
7
F
8
A
9
D
10
R
11
A
12
K
13
E
14
S
E
N
15
I
N
A
L
L
16
W
O
M
A
N
17
C
A
S
18
H
M
O
N
E
Y
19
A
W
A
R
E
20
A
D
L
A
I
21
D
U
S
22
K
Y
23
T
A
M
24
P
E
A
R
25
C
A
R
S
O
N
26
C
I
T
Y
27
U
T
28
U
R
N
29
A
D
E
E
30
A
31
L
G
32
R
A
G
33
U
34
O
35
O
36
P
37
S
38
J
O
H
39
N
N
Y
O
N
40
T
41
H
42
E
S
P
O
T
43
A
T
T
A
44
A
W
O
L
45
E
D
U
46
R
47
O
48
M
49
A
50
I
R
K
51
E
D
52
B
53
E
54
N
C
H
P
R
55
E
S
S
56
A
P
57
S
58
E
59
A
D
A
60
C
H
A
R
T
61
F
R
I
E
D
62
K
I
D
63
D
O
64
R
O
T
65
T
E
N
E
G
G
66
E
N
E
R
O
67
A
D
O
R
E
68
C
E
E
69
D
A
R
Y
L
70
T
E
P
I
D
71
E
R
R
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0525 ( 24,305 )

Support XWord Info today

Access this site for a full year:

  1. Select your level
  2. Choose how to pay

Learn about support levels.

$50 — Angel

Full access + download

$20 — Regular User

Full access, limited Finder

$10 — Casual User

Students & seniors
Across
1. Start of a Latin 101 conjugation : AMO
4. Eastern Mediterranean port since ancient times : JAFFA
9. "Take Care" rapper, 2012 : DRAKE
14. Sessions, e.g.: Abbr. : SEN
15. Total : INALL
16. "I am ___, hear me roar" : WOMAN
17. Dough in hand, redundantly : CASHMONEY
19. Clued in : AWARE
20. Big name in 1950s presidential campaigning : ADLAI
21. Full of shadows : DUSKY
23. Scotch topper : TAM
24. Juicy fruit : PEAR
25. State capital near Lake Tahoe : CARSONCITY
27. Course reversal : UTURN
29. Chick's tail? : ADEE
30. Class with many unknowns: Abbr. : ALG
32. Brand with "Old World Style" : RAGU
34. Klutz's utterance : OOPS
38. Person who's ready and able to help ... or a literal description of four occurrences in this puzzle : JOHNNYONTHESPOT
43. Lead-in to girl : ATTA
44. Off-base sort? : AWOL
45. School's end : EDU
46. Tomato variety : ROMA
50. Got under the skin of : IRKED
52. Gym activity that works the pectorals : BENCHPRESS
56. Quiet place to pray : APSE
59. Org. that encourages flossing : ADA
60. Many a Wall Street Journal graphic : CHART
61. Like much state fair fare : FRIED
62. Little bud : KIDDO
64. Last one in, say : ROTTENEGG
66. Calendario start : ENERO
67. Love to pieces : ADORE
68. Chowder head? : CEE
69. ___ Hannah of "Blade Runner" : DARYL
70. Not so hot : TEPID
71. Sin : ERR
Down
1. Acronym on Beyoncé records : ASCAP
2. Gettysburg general : MEADE
3. Chargers' action : ONSLAUGHT
4. First name at Woodstock : JIMI
5. "I'd like to buy ___, Pat" : ANO
6. Spanish steps? : FANDANGO
7. ___-de-lis : FLEUR
8. Actress Milano : ALYSSA
9. Johnson also known as "The Rock" : DWAYNE
10. Ticket info : ROW
11. Prized Italian instrument : AMATI
12. Gold standard : KARAT
13. "In the practice of tolerance, one's ___ is the best teacher": Dalai Lama : ENEMY
18. Rodgers's partner, in song : HART
22. Sent to the canvas, for short : KOD
25. Bonkers, in modern lingo : CRAY
26. Some "American Greed" subjects, for short : CEOS
28. Big coffee server : URN
30. 1977 album with the hit single "Deacon Blues" : AJA
31. Great deal : LOT
33. Spanish article : UNA
35. Leaning column : OPEDPIECE
36. Mini-spacecraft : POD
37. Bad name for an anger management counselor? : STU
39. Traffic cop, for short? : NARC
40. Resealable bottle feature : TWISTTOP
41. ___ d'oeuvres : HORS
42. "Benevolent" fraternity member : ELK
47. "Would ya look at that!" : OHCOOL
48. Dash abbr. : MPH
49. Genesis landing site : ARARAT
51. Get through hard work : EARN
52. Sweltered in the sun : BAKED
53. Minneapolis suburb : EDINA
54. Third-place finisher in 2000, 2004 and 2008 : NADER
55. Diminish by degrees : ERODE
57. Bob with the Silver Bullet Band : SEGER
58. Yard tool : EDGER
61. Farm store purchase : FEED
63. Wine descriptor : DRY
65. TNT part : TRI

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle.

Found bugs or have suggestions?